In a world where women are increasingly challenging traditional paradigms and taking on leadership roles, it’s essential to understand how organisations, society, and families can support and encourage this positive change. Cultural education nurtures the qualities required for female leadership. It builds confidence, creativity, inclusivity, and resilience, preparing them to take on leadership roles with a strong foundation in personal development and a deep appreciation for cultural expressions and arts.
I remember that exactly one year ago, I decided to start my own business as an entrepreneur, with the clear intention to celebrate Female Leadership. It took a lot of courage to publish my first book and now is your book too! My book is your book – We all have a voice!
My book is your book – We all have a voice!
It’s a very special project that I created and that aims to enrich both sides, me who wrote part of it and you who will write the missing part.
“But, is the book incomplete?” You might be asking! And I answer: Yes, your part is missing, your testimony, your reflection, your analysis, your comments and much more.
To celebrate this milestone, I interviewed Camila Leite, a successful leader, who shared valuable insights into how we can pave the way for women to flourish in leadership positions. In this article, we explore new ways to break gender biases Camila Leite’s thoughts on the importance of self-leadership, cultural education, and breaking old paradigms.
Breaking Gender Biases Through Cultural Education
Cultural education, when applied to female leadership, plays a crucial role in shaping the next generation of women leaders. Just as it fosters personal development through cultural expressions, arts, and creative activities, it can be seen as a prerequisite for nurturing future female leaders. Here’s how this connection can be made:
- Cultural Confidence: Cultural education instils confidence in individuals, which is essential for leadership. When young girls are exposed to various cultural expressions and arts, they learn to trust their abilities, voices, and creativity. This early confidence paves the way for them to pursue leadership roles with self-assurance.
- Empowerment Through Art: Encouraging young women to engage with the arts can empower them to express themselves in unique ways. Creative outlets like music, visual arts, and performing arts can provide a platform for girls to communicate their thoughts, emotions, and aspirations. These self-expression skills are invaluable in leadership, as they enable women to convey their ideas effectively.
- Cultural Inclusivity: Cultural education often emphasises diversity and inclusivity, teaching individuals to appreciate various perspectives and backgrounds. In the context of female leadership, this inclusivity fosters open-mindedness and a willingness to embrace diverse teams and perspectives in leadership roles.
- Community Building: Participating in cultural activities often involves collaboration and community engagement. These experiences teach girls the importance of teamwork and effective communication, valuable skills for leadership, where building and leading teams is a critical aspect.
- Narrative and Storytelling: Cultural education often involves narratives and storytelling. This can inspire young women to craft and share their leadership stories, motivating others to follow in their footsteps. Leaders often communicate their vision and values through compelling narratives, making this skill essential for female leaders.
- Resilience and Adaptability: The arts and cultural activities teach resilience and adaptability in the face of challenges and uncertainty. These traits are invaluable for leadership, as leaders must navigate complex situations and setbacks. Cultural education equips girls with the ability to overcome obstacles and keep moving forward.
Camila believes that cultural education plays a vital role in dismantling gender biases. Leite emphasises the importance of fostering an environment that promotes gender equality and encourages children, boys and girls, to dream big and set goals without being limited
by their gender. It’s crucial to educate children about the accomplishments of women in leadership roles and underscore the value of diversity. By engaging in inclusive conversations, providing role models, and offering educational experiences that challenge traditional gender norms, we can empower the next generation to believe in their potential to excel in any profession or leadership role. It’s a matter of teaching children that there are no boundaries to what they can achieve.
Cultivating self-awareness and fostering an environment that promotes gender equality is vital. We can educate children by encouraging them to dream big, set goals and understand that gender should not limit their aspirations. It is essential to teach them about the achievements of women in leadership roles and highlight the value of diversity. By breaking down gender biases through inclusive conversations, role models, and educational experiences, you empower your sons and daughters to believe in their potential to excel in any profession or leadership role.
I firmly believe that education has the power to change the world and that executive education can bring about profound transformations in both individuals and companies. I couldn’t be happier with this realisation. My deepest hope is that more and more individuals can become leaders of their own movement.
Camila Leite emphasises the significance of self-leadership as a foundational element for women aspiring to leadership roles. To lead others effectively, a woman must first lead herself. Every woman can build their self-awareness and, in turn, enhance their self-confidence, making them better prepared for leadership roles. Leite believes that this self-leadership journey is the foundation for achieving personal and professional success.
Self-doubt is a common challenge for many aspiring female leaders. Can you share your personal strategies for overcoming this lack of confidence and achieving success in leadership positions?
I believe we first need self-leadership. How can we lead other people if we can’t lead ourselves? To do this, I started studying how successful women behaved.
I noticed six essential elements: having dreams and goals (I´ve usually said that all women have dreams; but leaders only have goals). It is essential to keep your mind in the sky and your feet on the ground, know your own story, recognize your shortcomings, your victories, focus on the present, what actions you need to take now to improve your life or career, recognize what you take advantage of and don’t give up handing over less important things, your non-negotiable values, your main skills and areas for improvement, self-care which includes honouring your body – what you eat, activities for a quality life and, finally, resting and taking vacations. I created the concept of “micro vacation” and disconnecting in brief moments throughout the year. This entire set strengthens our self-awareness and impacts our self-confidence.
By achieving this self-knowledge, we become better prepared to lead companies and people. But, this is not a linear path. We practice self-care, invest in all of these elements, and build our careers while strengthening our leadership. It’s all about leading your movement.
When I understood that I was my own leader, everything around me changed. I started to feel more self-confident, no matter if I were among men, women or mixed-gender environments. It all starts with self-knowledge.
After understanding all of these, I wrote a digital book called “Guide to Leading Your Own Movement”, where I shared my 20 years of professional experience and how I got to the stage I am at now. In addition I teach other women how to turn their aspirations into concrete actions and become confident leaders on their professional journey.
How do you think organisations, society, and family can better support and encourage women to pursue leadership roles?
I believe that organisations, society, and families can break “paradigms.” We have to start thinking differently, not just thinking outside the box but also acting outside of it. How can we make our behaviour within companies encourage activities, programs, mentoring to empower more women in leadership through lifelong learning? For that, we have to break “paradigms” and believe in the women’s competencies and skills. We have plenty of research that already demonstrates the women’s positive impact when they take on leadership roles. What is lacking? Breaking paradigms.
How can we make our actions in society encourage the integration of people of all genders, starting with our small ecosystems among our friends, colleagues, and partners?
We can promote discussions centred on raising awareness of the importance of gender equality and the significant role of women as leaders.
And in the family? Educate our children to grow up in an environment where girls and women are respected. Teach them how they can assert themselves and build their lives, having confidence in their own leadership movement. The time has gone when girls had to learn household chores and boys had to learn to behave like the men of the house. That doesn’t fit with the era we live in, in the 21st century.
In every situation, we can break the paradigms of how we educate. Everyone, regardless of their gender, can be a part of this movement. Through breaking paradigms and being open to thinking differently, women are encouraged to be self-leaders, and we have excellent paths to encourage women to take on leadership roles.
Women who crossed oceans with Camila Leite
At the end of October, Camila achieved a significant career milestones. She co-launched the book “Mulheres que Cruzaram Oceanos” with 20 co-authors at the Carrousel Du Louvre in Paris. Additionally, she was honored with the Exceptional Women of Excellence award at the recent Women Economic Forum in London. She said:
It is impossible to express how excited I am about the materialization of this project. Writing my chapter in this book was a deeply special experience, a journey into my past that made me relive memories, joys and pains. After all, it is these experiences that shaped what brought me here. I feel immense pride in my movement! This Sunday, I and a few other co-authors gathered in Paris, at the Carrousel du Louvre, celebrating this milestone that is so significant for all of us.
It’s a celebration not just of the book, but also of the stories of 21 inspiring women who dared to cross oceans, faced challenges and built incredibly successful lives. A special thank you to my husband and my family who continue to support me and to my friend sister Cassia Melo who encouraged me enormously and will be with me in this remarkable moment! And you who follow me here, if you are looking for inspiration and want to delve into authentic stories of strength and overcoming, get in touch. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to be inspired by ‘Women who crossed oceans’.
About Camila Leite
Camila Leite, a dynamic leader now serving as the Director of New Business and Marketing at a prominent Angolan telecommunications company, has emerged as a guiding force in the world of agile business strategies. With an extensive background as a mentor, teacher, and sought-after speaker, she is dedicated to inspiring both entrepreneurs and executives to cultivate thriving enterprises and advance their professional journeys through dedication and strategic acumen.
An unwavering passion for literature and the art of expression has driven Camila to launch her inaugural virtual publication, the “Lead Your Own Movement Guide.” In this groundbreaking work, she imparts invaluable guidance to women, empowering them to take the reins in their lives, careers, and business ventures. This mission is realized through the distillation of common traits observed in accomplished women and the application of agile systems utilized by prosperous companies.
Though born in Maceió, Alagoas, Brazil, and raised in the vibrant city of Salvador, Bahia, Camila’s heart is deeply connected with the cultures of Angola and Portugal, where she has resided for a decade. This rich mosaic of experiences has informed her belief in the multifaceted nature of individual paths and the inherent leadership inherent in making choices.
Camila’s convictions are underpinned by her unwavering belief in the transformative power of education. She asserts that education has the capacity to reshape the world and, crucially, to transform both individuals and their enterprises. She herself has passionately pursued knowledge, earning specializations in Management for Executives and People Development from Católica Lisbon Business & Economics, Exponential Business Administration from StartSe and Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Business Management for the Future from Singularity Brasil, Executive, Personal, Career & Positive Coaching by SBCoaching Corporate, and Strategic Marketing by Fundação Getúlio Vargas, alongside other executive training.
At present, Camila Leite expands her career by undertaking the roles of Angola Country Chair within the esteemed global network G100. Furthermore, she serves as an associate mentor at PWN (Professional Women’s Network) Luanda, reinforcing her steadfast commitment to accelerating the careers of fellow women, drawing from the wealth of experiences she has accumulated throughout her remarkable journey. Her mission, it seems, is to make leadership a shared experience, enabling others to flourish in their professional endeavors.
Do you want to share your story and inspire our readers ? Know that every story is paving the way for a brighter, happier future.